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Cognitive Literary Theory Concept Map

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Carolyn Nelson

on 4 December 2012

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Transcript of Cognitive Literary Theory Concept Map

Jacques Derrida: The father of Deconstruction
Algerian born French Philosopher
1930 - 2004
Concerned with semiotic analysis, critiquing Saussure's Structuralism
Theory became known as Deconstruction Post-Structuralism Originated in the 1960s in France
Close cousin of Post-Modernism
Challenged Structuralism
Two main parts: Deconstruction and Destabilized meaning

Cognitive Literary Theory Ultimate goal of Literary theory is to understand the human creature, we have to understand his mind
Cognitive sciences "have become the single most interdisciplinary enterprise of the twenty-first century."
Started after the 'cognitive revolution' of the 1950s
Gaining popularity
Attempting to merge literary studies with the increasing scientific studies of the mind
Called the "next big thing" by the New York Times
Types of Cognitive Literary Theory Cognitive Rhetoric - examines the neuroscience behind communication, both linguistically and behaviorally
Cognitive Poetics - exclusively focuses on literature and literary devices. Want to understand "literariness"
Cognitive Narratology - look at the mental process involved in telling and reading stories, especially in consideration to how we learn
Cognitive Aesthetics of Reception - look at mental imagery and other visual aspects of story telling
Cognitive Materialism - brain sciences, studying physical structures of the brain and body and its impacts
Evolutionary Literary Theory - a close cousin of CLT, look at the mind from a evolutionary perspective
Ellen Spolsky
Darwin and Derrida: Cognitive Literary Theory as a Species of Post-Structuralism Classifies CLT as Post-structuralist
CLT doesn't really extent on the theory, but affirm it
Elucidates Derrida's notion of "play" and offers a scientific explanation for why it exist
Beneficial to have flexible language
Flexibility has created gaps
Gaps are filled with creativity
Humans are cognitive and cultural creatures
Evolutionary literary theory also supports this
our language systems work well enough, that's why they persist
Other Scholarship in Cognitive Literary Theory Mary Thomas Crane: Shakespeare's Brain
Patrick Colm Hogan: Literary universals
Alan Richardson: Reading the Romantics thorough a cognitive lens
Ellen Spolsky: Fiction, Culture, and Cognition & Gaps in the Modular Mind
Elaine Scarry - Cognitive understanding of visual descriptions in literary works
Reuven Tsur - Affects literature has on readers
Mark Turner - Blending theory, literary mental acts actually underlie everyday thought patterns
Lisa Zunshine - Cultural cognitive studies
Post-Postmodernism or Why Can't we Just Go Ahead and Call it Capitalist Literary Theory Now Anyway Negri (who might have been the last "big theorists") said that Deconstruction was dead
Nealon challenges that in his new book
Argues that Deconstruction is still viable
Derrida said, "Deconstruction is not a method, but a situation"
Deconstruction is where we are today People still cite Derrida
Open nature of the theory
Deconstruction is always looking for new meaning, questioning metaphysical powers and norms
Parallel to capitalism
No more totalization
we're all the same because we're all different
Knowledge is longer elite, but common

Why is Deconstruction still Relevant? Deconstructive Feminism Derrida, Foucault, Delezue, Lacan, Barthes, Eco, Butler, Kristeva What is Deconstruction? An experience, a way of thinking, not a thing to think
Questions all philosophical assumptions
Language is not neutral
Intense scrutinization of thought mechanisms
More than breaking down a text to find meaning
Reorganizes meaning, switches privileges, upsets relationships, strips authority to find new meaning
Main Works Structure, Sign, and Play in the Discourse of the Human Sciences
On Grammatology
Writing and Difference
Speech and Phenomena
The Post Card: From Socrates to Freud and Beyond
Specters of Marx
It's kind of impossible to say,or do -- but that doesn't mean the attempt isn't worthy! The tenets of deconstruction contribute a lot to feminist critique
Openness it provides, ability to question authority, privilege and power, and reexamine established binary opposites Julia Kristeva Bulgarian-French philosopher and feminist
Her work straddles Structuralism and Post-Structuralism
Borrowing from psychoanalysis, she argues that subjects are not fixed, they are fluid
Allows for multiple sexual identities
She worked with other prominent French feminists like Cixous and Irigaray Judith Butler American born feminist, post-structuralist theorist
Considered one of the most influential feminist theorists today
Uses principles of Deconstruction and difference to look at gender
In her book, Gender Troubles, addressed both Kristeva and Derrida along with Foucault, Freud, and others
Sex, Gender, and Sexuality, made to look as natural, but not
Gender is preformative, culturally construct act Any
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